Guanaceví is located 260 kilometres northwest of the city of Durango, in Mexico’s fifth-largest silver mining district, and covers approximately 4,200 hectares. Guanaceví is accessible by state highway and municipal roads, and features good local infrastructure, including power from the state power grid and skilled local labour readily available in the nearby town of Guanaceví. The mining district is characterized by multiple low-sulphidation epithermal veins, typically thousands of metres long, up to 700 metres deep, ranging from one to 10 metres thick.
Since acquiring the property, we have discovered seven high-grade silver-gold ore bodies along a six kilometre length of the Santa Cruz vein, developed several new mines, and modernized and expanded the processing plant. Today, three underground mines feed the central, 1,200 tonne-per-day plant that produces doré bars. Our work force includes approximately 550 employees and 400 contractors.
Silver production at Guanaceví in 2016 was 2,364,045 oz and gold production was 5,328 oz – falling short of guidance due to lower throughput and ore grades, partly offset by higher recoveries. Production totalled 2.8 million ounces of silver equivalents. The operation suffered from inadequate supervision, development, pumping, ventilation and electrical systems last year, and access to certain high grade areas was restricted. Significant investments in the underground mine were made in Q4 to rectify these issues and the mine should bounce back through 2017. Cash costs at Guanaceví in 2016 were $10.56 per ounce, while all-in sustaining costs (AISC) came to $19.07 per ounce, net of gold credits. We also spent $1.2 million on drilling 7,000 metres of various targets within the Guanaceví district.
Sustaining capital at Guanaceví in 2017 is budgeted at $16.7 million. An additional $7.1 million of growth capital is planned to access two new ore bodies currently not in production. The development is expected to commence in the second quarter of 2017, depending on permitting. Exploration plans for 2017 include 8,000 metres of drilling for $1.2 million.
|Plant throughput (tonnes/day)||Grades (grams/tonne)||Production (ounces)||Recoveries (%)||Cash costs ($/oz Ag)||AISC ($/oz Ag)||Direct costs ($/tonne)|
Reserves and Resources: Silver
5.0 M oz proven and probable silver reserves
24.6 M oz measured and indicated silver resources
9.9 M oz inferred silver resources
Reserves and Resources: Gold
11,900 oz proven and probable gold reserves
56,600 oz measured and indicated gold resources
19,800 oz inferred gold resources
*For details refer to the complete Reserves and Resources table in the footer below.